Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL Rumor Roundup: All the Specs, Pricing, Features You Need to Know

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Oct 2, 2017
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Google’s Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL are slated to be announced on October 4 amongst other products at the event and with the tech giant having acquired a portion of HTC’s smartphone business, the company wants to solidify its position as a major player in the highly competitive industry. There are a few very interesting aspects of both these incoming flagships and we will walk you through all the specifications, pricing, features and more in our rumor roundup.

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Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL Display Details: Design Change-up or Boring Approach From 2016?

There have been a lot of glaring rumors regarding the design of the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL. Several of these rumors are leaning towards the mundane ‘2016 smartphone design’ approach which involves both phones stuck with the same bezels surrounding all four corners of the phone while others are welcoming the fact that Google and HTC might finally be adopting a bezel-less display form factor.

Looking at HTC’s lack of efforts to adopt a new smartphone design, it is possible that the smaller Pixel 2, which is being made by the latter features the same 2016 design language as its predecessor. However, with reports claiming that the Pixel 2 XL is being made by LG, it is almost certain that the larger of the two flagships will tout minimalistic bezels, though it will be sold for a premium, which is a topic that we will be touching on right at the very end.

The Pixel 2 XL has been rumored to get a 6-inch QHD AMOLED display sporting an 18:9 aspect ratio, which is a decent size for a smartphone that is expected to have a high screen-to-body ratio. The Pixel 2, on the other hand, might be given less preferential treatment, which is kind of like what Apple does with its 4.7-inch iPhone lineup.

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There are no plastic materials to be found on any part of the chassis surrounding the Pixel 2 or Pixel 2 XL so we will have nothing but a full-metal jacket protecting the innards. It would be a welcome addition to both of these phones if they get a glass plus aluminum combination so these devices can adopt wireless charging, but we do not believe this is going to be the case.

Complete Specifications Breakdown

Hardware

A Snapdragon 835 paired with 4GB of RAM was always going to be the dynamic duo expected from the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL, although Google might just surprise us with a Snapdragon 836 during the announcement. While Qualcomm has not officially announced a higher-performing SoC, companies usually have this habit of making a low-key unveiling.

Despite the fact that there have been reports suggesting against the use of a Snapdragon 836, surprises are always important. As for sporting 4GB of RAM, this much RAM is going to be more than enough as a stock-Android interface always utilizes fewer resources than the heavily customized skins other manufacturers have a propensity to use.

Display Technology

The use of OLED display technology is going to be paramount if we’re going to see the Pixel 2 XL get its bezels reduced to match the competition of the LG V30, Galaxy Note 8 and the ‘soon to be unveiled’ Huawei Mate 10. OLED technology will also contribute to less battery consumption, higher brightness levels when viewed outdoors and have a deeper contrast of colors in comparison to IPS LCD screens.

Water-resistance

Water-resistance is going to be a feature that will be retained on both phones but instead of being IP53-certified like its predecessors, both phones are expected to have an IP68 or IP67 at the bare minimum. If you’re going to be making a flagship correctly, you might as well include these things, or consumers and critics will definitely be quick to point these out. We also doubt that Google will be entertaining warranty for water damage and if you try to be clever in explaining what exactly happened with the phone, there are water-damage indicators that tell the actual story.

I/O

A Type-C USB port is going to be maintained across both phones, but there are rumors that Google plans to forego the headphone jack on the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL. HTC followed this approach with its U Ultra and U11 and while the company’s phones were not selling in large numbers, removing the headphone jack is going to be a plain silly move on Google’s part and make a lot of people livid. Irrespective of how archaic this component is, it is still a universally adopted standard and consumers would hate to carry around a dongle with them at all times.

Wireless Connectivity

Bluetooth 5.0 is an upgrade we’ve seen on several devices so it will not come as a jaw-dropping surprise if both flagships were to gain this too. Like always, Google has not been fond of incorporating expandable storage options so you will have to be careful and calculative with your purchase.

Alongside this, you will get the usual additions, ranging from NFC, 802.11ac and a Snapdragon X16 LTE chip. While it should not make any difference to wireless connectivity speeds since carriers are not even close to delivering such speeds, it would be nice if the speeds of the LTE modem weren’t throttled just because there were not sufficient antennas in the smartphone.

Storage

Chances are that the base model belonging to both phones will come with 32GB of UFS 2.1 storage and go all the way up to 128GB of internal memory so plan your purchase wisely.

Wireless Charging

If it took Apple this long to finally bring support for wireless charging to its iPhone family, we believe it will take Google another 12 months to embrace it. That being said, we are of the opinion that both phones will not provide support for wireless charging but will provide fast-charging support courtesy of Qualcomm’s Quick Charge technology. Unfortunately, battery capacity values have not been detailed anywhere but stay tuned because last-minute leaks involving smartphones have become quite common in the digital age.

Camera Upgrades

Now, this is one department where Google, HTC, and LG will need to capitalize on if they are to get an edge over Samsung, and most importantly Apple. With the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X being the first mainstream smartphones providing support for 4K video recording at 60FPS not to mention the first two smartphones being on top of the DxOMark charts for featuring best cameras in a mobile phone, it is going to be a challenge to devise a camera setup that will rival these mobile computing marvels.

Even after being released last, the Pixel family still gets 90 points in smartphone photography and videography, which means we could definitely be in for a treat when Google makes the grand announcement in a couple of days. Unfortunately, there were some complaints associated with the camera hardware such as the lack of hardware stabilization (or OIS).

Though electronic image stabilization or software stabilization as it is commonly referred to reduces camera shake during imaging and video recording, it will never be as effective as OIS. That is why we implore Google to add hardware stabilization while complementing its capabilities with EIS to give the camera hardware a competitive edge against the iPhone and Samsung’s flagships.

So what about a dual-camera setup? For starters, the Pixel 2 might not get one, but we believe things could look promising for the Pixel 2 XL. Remember, Google might be adding premium features to the larger flagship while charging the customer more so if a dual-camera solution is present, the phablet could become a stock-Android touting cash cow for Google.

We expect optical zoom to be a part of the dual-camera, coupled with features like Portrait Mode; Google might name it something else but the end result could be that it might challenge Apple’s repertoire of features for smartphones with dual-camera solutions.

We expect all sensors to be maxed out at 12MP while increasing the sensor and pixel size to let in as much light as possible. This will help to improve low-light shots and video, though we do not have any information at this time concerning the camera aperture value. So far, the LG V30 holds the bragging rights of the widest smartphone camera aperture so it will be a huge accomplishment for Google if the aperture value is set at F/1.7 or F/1.8 at the very least.

Pricing

You will need to have deep pockets for both the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL because a previous rumor has suggested that Google is not going to be kinder when it comes to its selling strategy. As it so happens, the 32GB model of the larger Pixel 2 XL is rumored to start from $849, making it more expensive than the 64GB model of the iPhone 8 Plus. If the pattern is the same as last year, then it looks like the 128GB will set the customer back by $949, while the starting price of the smaller Pixel 2 will most likely be $649.

Like we said, you will need to have deep pockets if you want to own a future flagship from Google.

Availability

The announcement is set to take place on October 4, but there is no official release date provided. We’re guessing that Google will indeed have a strategy in mind for this because with the iPhone X pre-orders are starting later this month and being officially available next month, the time to act will be right this instant.

If Google can start taking pre-orders for the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL starting this month with a release date slated for the third or fourth week of October, a sufficient market will be handed to it. Google will certainly be attempting not make to make a mess of the availability issues that plagued its 2016 smartphone lineup so this release will also be a test to see if the company has learned from its previous endeavors and shortcomings.

With these rumors finally concluded, we’d like to know your thoughts if there is anything special you want to see in the upcoming Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL. Your feedback is always welcome down in the comments and remember, do watch out for our coverage in a couple of days.

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